Game shows move to Primetime Emmys as TV academies continue realignment
Game shows are heading to the Primetime Emmys. As part of the ongoing Emmy realignment between the Television Academy (the West Coast organization formerly known as the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences) and the New York-based National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the two parties will migrate the game show categories from the Daytime Emmys to the Primetime Emmys starting next year.
The decision comes as, previously announced, the two organizations have agreed to assign many programming categories by genre rather than timeslot. Game shows remained a sticking point in such an arrangement.
Going forward, the new Primetime Emmy category for Outstanding Game Show “will be awarded to programs with gameplay elements that primarily take place in the studio and involve mental challenges,” the organizations said in an announcement Thursday. “They must stand alone or carry over (winner continues to next episode) and cannot be arched.”
According to the announcement, game shows migrating to the Primetime Emmys will have an 18-month eligibility window, from January 1, 2022 through May 31, 2023.
As part of the move, the Primetime Emmys will also add an Outstanding Host for a Game Show category, “awarded to host(s) ‘master of ceremonies’ for continued performance on a game show.” This year, in their final Daytime Emmys appearance, “Jeopardy” continued his streak as Best Game Show winner, while Steve Harvey (“Family Feud”) took home Game Show Host.
The Primetime Emmys already have an “outstanding competition program” field (which rewards programs with reality-style, skill-based competitions). In order to avoid confusion, the latter’s category will revert to its original name of “Exceptional Reality Competition Program”. Additionally, game shows and reality competition programs with only children as nominees must enter the Children’s & Family Emmy Awards.
The decision to realign the major Emmys came last year, with several categories realigned to focus on genre, rather than daytime installments, to split eligibility between the Primetime and Daytime Emmys.
Most notably, the roster moved all scripted programming to enter the Primetime Emmys, with two exceptions: daytime soap operas – defined as “weekday, multi-camera daily soap operas” and any spinoffs or reboots of these sudsers. — will stay with the Daytime Emmys. And as previously announced, all children’s awards are now part of the new Children’s & Family Emmys, which will be launched later this year in the form of a new ceremony.
In the areas of talk, the TV Academy and NATAS have so far maintained two separate talk show competitions in the Daytime and Primetime competitions, but that’s the next frontier to tackle.
The decision in 2020 to move all Primetime Emmy Kids categories to the Daytime Emmys (and starting this year, the Children’s & Family Emmys, administered by NATAS) represented a major thaw in the decades-long Cold War between the two television academies. . The organizations broke up in 1977 over irreconcilable differences and spent the next decades at war, occasionally suing each other over issues of Emmy fields and oversight. Things came to a boil in 2008, when NATAS attempted to launch its own Broadband Emmys, and the TV Academy balked.